Thursday night’s season opener against the New Jersey Devils is a big moment for the franchise, as the Panthers will debut a brand new logo and new uniforms for the first time in franchise history. The high-profile nature of the occasion makes it all the more classy that they're using the opportunity to make a touching tribute.
Every Panthers player wore No. 16 and the name "Fernandez" on their nameplate in honor of late Miami Marlins ace pitcher Jose Fernandez during warmups.
Florida Panthers Jose Fernandez jerseys, helmet decal for opening night. pic.twitter.com/ecmAhimSHm— George Richards (@GeorgeRichards) October 13, 2016
The players will wear their normal jerseys during the game, but the helmet decal will remain.
Fernandez passed away in late September during a boating accident in Miami. He was 24 years old.
Florida finished the game with poignancy, too: Aleksander Barkov scored the game-winner. He wears #16.
Wow the @FlaPanthers won in overtime with a goal from #16?!?! That's so dope!— Dee Gordon (@FlashGJr) October 14, 2016